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Video The 7 LEVELS of Smoke On The Water (Main Riff)
08:02   |   today at 16:22


  • what's up everyone and Mike here from
  • merit of guitar here with another quick
  • lesson I just wanted to show you the
  • seven different levels of playing the
  • smoke on the water riff I know some
  • people will roll their eyes whenever it
  • comes to saying smoke on the water
  • stairway to heaven
  • Enter Sandman all the big ones because
  • they're sick of hearing it hot to death
  • but I wanted to show you the seven
  • levels that I had discovered when I was
  • trying to learn this from the very
  • beginning of playing guitar too just
  • yesterday so we'll start off the first
  • way a lot of people play when they first
  • start out on guitar and that's when you
  • discover the power of the e string you
  • just have your sixth string and from the
  • open e you may discover that you can go
  • to the third fret to the fifth fret and
  • then you just have to think of the
  • numbers when you're starting out at zero
  • three five zero three six five and you
  • get this kind of
  • [Music]
  • it's a great way to teach somebody had
  • just make some sound on a guitar and
  • play a familiar sounding type of song
  • and what's really weird is I can kind of
  • tell how quickly a student is going to
  • figure things out by the way they are
  • able to pick up the smoke on the water
  • riff even though it's very generic for a
  • guitar teacher to teach smoke on the
  • water for the first lesson it's sort of
  • my way to gauge how quickly a student
  • can pick things up their aptitude so
  • that's the first level the second level
  • would be you start to learn power chords
  • and then you do it this way
  • [Music]
  • and then the students excited because
  • now what used to be single notes as a
  • much fatter and more evil sound that was
  • a huge discovery for me when I was first
  • starting out of course after that power
  • chords were in a ton of song so I was
  • able to play a lot of things so that was
  • fun that's level 2 level 3 is going to
  • be you play it for a while then you try
  • to play it along to the actual song and
  • you realize that it's in a different key
  • so then after some asking some questions
  • looking things up who knows when I was
  • younger we didn't couldn't look things
  • up online so I had those scoured
  • magazines and ask people remember I'm 97
  • so we have is we have the power chords
  • moved up now so now we start on the 3rd
  • fret so now we're gonna go three six
  • eighth fret wise because sometimes
  • people don't know their notes on the
  • string quite yet three six eight three
  • six nine eight course then you feel cool
  • because now you're moving up the neck a
  • little bit higher when before you were
  • stuck down here so it feels good to
  • navigate the neck a bit you're still not
  • ready to switch sets of strings yet but
  • you're just having fun moving around so
  • it's kind of nice to be way up here now
  • so that's the third level okay the
  • fourth level is going to be when you
  • start to shift to different strings so
  • you may learn how to go like this now
  • [Music]
  • so the fourth level is simply taking
  • what you just did on the one set of
  • strings and moving into two different
  • sets of strings and you realize that hey
  • it's kind of nice you can use the other
  • strings as a way to play in one area so
  • you sort of don't have to move as much
  • sometimes go on from here all the way in
  • the years kind of a crazy task because
  • you're trying to count the frets as you
  • go if you can keep it in this nice
  • little area here it's kind of more I
  • guess it's easier to play and you don't
  • have to think as much as you play which
  • is always nice as a guitar player so
  • that's a guerrilla cool lesson that you
  • learn at level four level five is when
  • you start to hear about people talking
  • oh they don't do power chords in that
  • song what they do is they bar their
  • finger across and so the way I learned
  • it was you have the to open middle
  • strings so that's the D and the G note
  • you're also in the power chord but it
  • does give it a whole different sound
  • isn't it
  • then from there you can use one finger
  • but now you have to know how to bar so
  • that's why sometimes wait a little while
  • to teach this version of it so we have
  • [Music]
  • some people can't bar right away so they
  • get like a kind of a sound so you gotta
  • work on barring that's why this is level
  • 5 so we get people even go as far as to
  • try to use their ring finger to bar
  • [Music]
  • [Applause]
  • all right that's a great way to play it
  • level six is when you watch ritchie
  • blackmore play it live and you realize
  • that in a very old video that i saw he
  • moves it way up high to the eighth
  • position sometimes when you play a power
  • chord down here let's say on the fifth
  • string sounds pretty good but if you
  • move it to the seventh fret of the sixth
  • string just has this bad sound to it so
  • instead of go on like this we're gonna
  • play these first two notes G and D D and
  • G way up here at the tenth fret so we're
  • gonna go D and G and because they're
  • being played on the two fattest strings
  • of the guitar they're gonna have a
  • different sound
  • [Music]
  • kind of muddy or sounding but really
  • gritty and cool and then you go
  • [Music]
  • now this feels weird to pick it because
  • the next level after this is where you
  • basically can get rid of the pick what I
  • like to do is hide it in my hand like
  • this and then use my thumb and index
  • fingers to pluck the strings I used to
  • do it where I would hold the pick and
  • then just Travis pick it with my middle
  • and ring but watching his hand carefully
  • you could see his thumb going up and
  • down so it's like it's pinching the
  • strings so the 7th level of this has to
  • do in the same thing we just did except
  • plucking the strings and it gives it a
  • percussive staccato ish kind of sound
  • [Music]
  • and there's a bonus level to watching
  • him play live just a couple days ago on
  • on YouTube what I noticed was he did one
  • time when he was playing and you know
  • live he must get a little bit bored of
  • playing this riff a million times so he
  • started using his thumb over the top to
  • play it so kind of as a fun little
  • alternative way to play it if you ever
  • just wanted to show off or something
  • instead I go and like this wrap your
  • thumb over the top it still play the
  • same now
  • [Music]
  • a little bit weirdest life
  • [Music]
  • I've seen people do all sorts of things
  • where they reach over here and play some
  • stuff but I did see him do this in a
  • video so that's why I'm teaching that as
  • a bonus level I also saw him play with a
  • frisbee or something - he was wildlife
  • but anyways you get the idea of how how
  • far you could take a riff and go in
  • depth with it so what started out as
  • [Music]
  • became this
  • and you could definitely hear the
  • difference in the levels so just like
  • with Enter Sandman or any riff that you
  • may roll your eyes to there's always
  • going to be deeper and deeper levels to
  • things and it seems like the more you're
  • able to find those little gems the more
  • you appreciate what these artists have
  • done and why these are classic timeless
  • roots thanks for watching and I will
  • catch you guys soon

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